Fennel-Flavored Carrots and Corn Over Rice

Time: 45 minutes

Sometimes we eat only this for dinner, other times along with a side dish of Porcini-Flavored Lentils or with Glazed Veal Chops.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • ¼ bulb fresh fennel
  • 1 bell pepper, green or red
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • ¼ cup water
  • Salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 cup chicken broth or water
  • 1 cup spaghetti sauce, homemade or prepared
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Finely chop the onion and fennel. Core, seed, and finely chop the bell pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel, and pepper and sauté for a minute. Cover the pan and cook over low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes, or however long it takes to prepare the carrots.
  3. Peel and thinly slice the carrots. Add them to the pan along with the corn, water, 1 teaspoon salt, and seasonings. Cover and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir the rice, broth, and spaghetti sauce into the vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer covered until the rice is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and serve hot.

Variations

  1. Add ¾ to 1 pound cubed monkfish or smoked lean ham or turkey when you add the rice.
  2. To turn this into a more substantial vegetarian main course, add 1 can (16 ounces) black beans or chick-peas, rinsed and drained, with the rice. Stir ½ cup grated Parmesan or Cheddar cheese into the finished dish just before serving.

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